Ascot high jump star Sam Hewitt insists he is more than ready to make his competitive return from injury as he prepares to represent his university at BUCS Nationals next week.
Hewitt, who studies theoretical physics at the University of Sheffield, is setting himself no targets heading into the competition, but with Olympic aspirations for the future, will be wanting to stamp his mark on the student athletics scene.
Taking place from February 17-19, BUCS Nationals will see more than 6,000 students from across the country descend on the Steel City for three action-packed days of sport.
And for 19-year-old Hewitt, he can’t wait for the challenge that lies in wait.
“I’m very much looking forward to BUCS Nationals, it will be a good experience competing against people from different universities, and conveniently, it’s in the city that I’m studying,” said the former Charters School pupil.
“I think there will be a lot of rivalry between universities, and it will be a very competitive atmosphere. But I think it will be a fantastic competition and very high standard.
“I’ve been out for about two months with a muscle tear in my leg and it’s been pretty frustrating. It’s quite limiting and I’d obviously like to be doing more training.
“I can’t wait to get back to action, there are so many different activities that I’ve been prevented from doing, as well as standard training and improving my technique, so I haven’t been able to really push myself.
“I don’t like to put a ceiling on my aspirations, but if I could get to an Olympic standard, then that would be ideal. At the moment though, I’m just enjoying the sport and trying to improve as much as I can.”
BUCS Nationals is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event, and has provided a building block in the careers of many professional athletes.
And while first year student Hewitt is only just getting to grips with university life, he is already relishing the opportunities it gifts him.
“BUCS is probably regarded as the main competition for sport at university, so it is something to work towards for athletes and that adds a nice goal for everyone and keeps them motivated throughout the training period,” he said.
“It’s been good for me since I started university. I’ve met a lot of new people, got a new training group and it’s a nice experience because there are other events with the athletics team out of training.”
*British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. BUCS Nationals is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event, bringing over 6,000 athletes to Sheffield to compete in 9 sports
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